Travel: Are you Airbnb-ing it?

I kind of thought everyone knew about the wonder that is Airbnb, but speaking to some friends recently, apparently not. Maybe it’s just because it’s been something in our minds for such a long time now I thought it was perfectly normal, until one of the ladies at work looked at me like I was crackers when I suggested it to her! 

Airbnb first came to our attention when a friend of ours came back from a trip to Austin a few years ago and told us about some of the awesome places she’d stayed in on the trip – converted barns with fully stocked kitchens, hosts who gave them guided tours of the town, swanky apartments – all peoples homes that they rented out and all cheaper than the motel options available to them! I remember we immediately googled it and Jim set up an account. And we’ve found some beauties since. Last year when Jim needed a place for him and 10 friends to stay in Amsterdam, he turned to the site and found a super swanky pad that meant all of them had a bed, they were close to the city centre and importantly, as it was football time, didn’t break the bank. His mum has been using it all over the place too, they just got back from a trip to Alaska where they stayed in a spare room in the flat and had dinner cooked for them by their hosts, and is currently in Australia as we speak staying in another!

When we took our holiday at the end of August, we needed a place to stay near Bournemouth that would let us stay with the dog. We’d hoped that we’d be able to find something through Pets Pajamas but they didn’t have anything close and as we arranged it quite late a lot of the hotel local to where we wanted to stay were fully booked. The few that weren’t and would allow dogs, wanted to charge an extra £40-60 a night to have a little pup like Flash in the room, which, when you’re looking at a £120 room to start with is pretty crazy! I’m just not sure why is costs so much to stay places with a dog. 

So we turned to Airbnb. And we found a really cute little flat full of vintage features, records rather than a tv,  a comfy bed and a lovely host who even suggested places to dog walk to us. All for less than half the price the hotel would have cost us. Crazy! We’ve even thought about offering our spare room out on the site once we have the house a bit more sorted!

Currently we’re searching for the perfect apartment to stay in when we go to Whistler next year – I’m swaying towards an awesome place with a staircase made of skateboards, but one of the others we’ve found has a hot tub and my knees would love that after a day on the mountains! 

The things we’ve found most useful is the fact you get to fully investigate the property before you commit. We love that users leave reviews (very important in my eyes), that you get to see so many pictures of the property (how else would I check out the skateboard stairs?) and also that you get to have a chat with the people you are renting from. Not only do you get to know a bit about them, especially if you’re just renting a room, but you get to find out an insiders view on the place too! 

So, are you an Aibnb user? (If so, I don’t suppose you have any Whistler recommendations do you? Or Vancouver? Or Seattle?) Or do you rent your home/spare room out through it? Is it worth it? 

(Just so you know I’ll get £15 credit too!)


  1. We used airbnb for the first time in Lisbon in the summer- and the apartment was beautiful, well-located and very well stocked of everything we needed (including spare shampoo and shower gel). Next week we're off to the USA and have booked airbnb apartments in NYC and Boston. I would say that the reviews of properties are crucial – we only chose apartments with at least 90% good/excellent reviews.

  2. That's amazing to have all those extras. I am so fussy about the reviews and reading them all – somehow I believe them more than hotel reviews on trip advisor. Is that crazy? You'll have to let me know what your NYC and Boston ones are like – that sounds like a great holiday to have too! x

  3. I'm a total AirBnb convert. You get to experience the city in a much more authentic way than a hotel I always think x

  4. I've only just started using it but the first two places I stayed at were amazing. And when trying to budget for two people, they are sometimes cheaper then even the hostel option for whole house

  5. Totally, you get to see neighbourhoods and things that you'd never normally see. We found some lovely cafes where we last stayed – I just wish there were more of them in the bit of Cornwall we stay in though! x

  6. Totally cheaper, the place in Amsterdam worked out cheaper than a crappy hostel for the guys, and in Canada we're looking for either the two of us, or a big group (depending which friends come from Vancouver) and in both cases the options are cheaper than a hotel x

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